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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EU-2022-12/2341 – measures in European Union

European trade unions' reaction on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Country European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)
Time period Open ended, started on 17 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Other humanitarian measures
Author Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound
Measure added 19 May 2022 (updated 21 June 2022)

Background information

From the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European trade union movement expressed its concern about the devastating effects of the war and the humanitarian disaster it caused. The European Trade Union Confederation, on 1 March 2022, formulated a preliminary position on this matter, which on 17 March 2022 took the form of a comprehensive resolution on, inter alia, expectations of the direction of the EU institutions and member states in response to the war started by Russia.

Content of measure

The ETUC key demands toward EU institutions and Member States are:

  • Immediately act through all possible means to achieve the cease-fire and to facilitate negotiations to initiate a peace process, with respect for democracy, human rights, and international conventions.
  • Investigate crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine during the Russian invasion and bring those responsible to justice.
  • Initiating a specific dialogue with Ukraine on the country's accession process to the European Union.
  • Establishing fully protected humanitarian corridors to allow displaced persons to move to safer parts of Ukraine, people in need of protection to leave the country safely, and establish reception and relocation plans within the EU.
  • Provision of immediate financial assistance to secure humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its people, as well as all necessary assistance measures for those who fled the country and reached neighboring EU Member States and other countries in the region.
  • Full implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive (which was first launched by the European Council on March 4, 2022 at the request of the European Commission) through solidarity and shared responsibility by EU Member States.
  • Introduce measures of compensation and alternative supply of goods and energy sources, to fight against speculation and to reduce the negative impacts of the war and the related sanctions on the populations of the EU Member States and neighbouring countries.

Use of measure

Not available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: EU level


Independent initiative of trade unions.

Views and reactions

Trade unions supported their own initiative. Lack of knowledge about the reactions of the employers.



Eurofound (2022), European trade unions' reaction on Russian invasion of Ukraine, measure EU-2022-12/2341 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.